How to Declutter your Home Before Moving

Moving home can be a stressful time, so the last thing you want to deal with is a house filled with clutter!

Streamlining your stuff is a great task to get done before you move, so you’re not bringing a load of unnecessary clutter with you. Follow our top tips for decluttering your home, ready for the big move!

Set a date to do it

You don’t want to start too far away from your moving date or you’ll just end up accumulating more stuff in the meantime. But at the same time, if you wait until only a week before the move you’ll be creating more stress – the weeks before a move are pretty intense! 

Aim to start decluttering about a month before your move. That will give you enough time to get it all done, and still leave a bit of wiggle room should anything unexpected comes up.

Read up before you start

There are lots of different schools of thought on house management and tidying up. A couple of months before you start decluttering, have a read around and see if any of them resonate with you.

For example, Marie Kondo has become popular with her ‘sparking joy’ method of clearing out unwanted items, while Mrs Hinch has some excellent cleaning tips you can use. Whichever method you choose, get your cleaning and packing supplies ready before you start.

Make a plan and work your way through the house room by room. If you try and do several rooms at once, you’ll easily find yourself overwhelmed. Work each room until it’s done, and only then move onto the next. 

If you can’t do every room in one day, don’t worry. Spread it out over a weekend if you need to so you’re not rushing and stressing yourself out. If you need a bit of a motivator, give yourself something to look forward to once you finish a room, like a cuppa and a biscuit, or 10 minutes chilling out on your phone. Just don’t forget to move onto the next room afterwards!

Make clear divisions; sell, donations, throw away, keep

If you create clear areas for each, then it’ll be easier for you to see where you stand. You can use different tablecloths or sheets laid out on the floor, or boxes if you prefer, but keep it within these four choices.

In the end, every item should fall into one of the four options; sell, donation, throw away, keep – , so nothing is left out. You should also make plans to get the throw away and donation boxes out of the house as soon as possible. The longer you leave them, the more likely things will end up back on the shelves and in cupboards.

Empty everything out

As well as going room by room, you should also work this way within each room. Go from cupboard to cupboard, drawer to drawer and empty each one in turn. 

Lay everything out on the floor, or on sheets to help you sort through faster. This will help you stay focused and ensure that every nook and cranny is sorted before you move on.

Sort your paperwork

Paperwork easily takes up most of the clutter in our homes; from junk mail and bank statements, to old receipts and insurance forms – we seem to have a never-ending stream of it through our letterboxes.

You have two choices when it comes to paperwork – do it first or last. Either start off by going into each room, gathering all the paperwork you find, and bringing it all together in one place to sort through, or;

Sort paperwork into a separate pile as you declutter and then sort through it all once the rest of your decluttering is done.

The choice is yours, but it’s always best to do paperwork in one go. Get yourself some binders or paper storage boxes to help organise the important documents you have to keep.

If it’s broke, don’t fix it – get rid of broken items

A hard and fast rule for decluttering is this; if it is broken, chuck it! Once your start clearing out your junk and you see how many items end up on your ‘Throw Away’ pile, you’ll see what we mean!

Don’t hold on to broken or damaged items on the hope that one day you’ll get round to fixing them, or find a use for them. You won’t. Just get rid!


  • eBay
  • Carboot
  • Charity shops
  • British Heart Foundation collections
  • Friends and family
  • Gumtree
  • Freecycle

Whether you are selling or just giving things away for free, there’s plenty of ways to go about it.

Have a buddy if you struggle to let go of items

If you know that you are one of those people who struggles to part with their possessions, then employ the help of a friend or family member. Tell them that it’s their job to remind you of why you need to declutter and to ask the important questions, such as;

  • Do you really need that?
  • When was the last time you used/wore that?
  • Is that broken/damaged?
  • Do you really want to take that to your brand new home?

Check expiration dates to clear out your kitchen

Sell By and Use By are your best friends when it comes to sorting out your kitchen. Go through every item and check the expiration dates. Anything that is already out of date, or will be out of date by the time you move needs to be chucked or used up.

Items past their expiration dates can be thrown away. The other items either need to be moved to the front of your cupboard to get used up first, or donated to a local food bank.

Minimise your spending – don’t buy more than you need until you move or you’ll have to pack it too!

If you are moving home in a month’s time, you should only buy items to last you up to that point. For example, only buy enough loo roll to last you until you move, otherwise you’ll have to pack it and take it with you – which is a big waste of space in your packing boxes!

And there you go! Follow these simple rules and you’ll have a clutter-free home ready for moving in no time!